Friday, 16 May 2008

Yes! Beyond Good & Evil Sequel is in the works!

In a previous post, I mentioned how much I enjoyed (to tears) the game Beyond Good & Evil. It was a marvellous game that unfortunately was a commercial failure. Still, it gathered a faithful fanbase that has been clamouring for a sequel for years (the game is from 2003). I know I've been one of those.

Well, it seems our plea has finally been answered! Gamespot has just published the news that Michel Ancel, the man behind the original game (and more well-known as Rayman creator) is working on a sequel! His team is still in preproduction, and Ubisoft hasn't even given the project the green light, but I don't believe the man would finally come out in the open about the sequel if he didn't believe Ubisoft wouldn't agree to it (unless he thinks releasing the news will create enough buzz that Ubisoft won't dare stop the project, in which case I can only applaud the cunningness).

Now, the project is still in preproduction, hasn't been green-lighted yet, and platforms haven't been announced, but I would still like to say what I would like to see happen for Beyond Good & Evil 2:

  • Include the Wii among the supported platforms! Ubisoft has been claiming to support the Wii since its release, but still has failed to give us anything better than mini-game collections. The core gamer on the Wii is dying for a good, cinematic, action-adventure title that is not a port. Marketed correctly, the game could be a resounding success (moreover, development on the Wii costs lots less than development on the PS3 or the Xbox 360. That gives Ubisoft a big margin for advertisement). I also don't believe the PS3 or the Xbox 360 install bases would be as much interested in that game.
  • Add content to the game! The original was superb, but far too short. The sequel needs to be at least twice as long, or people will wait until the game reaches the bargain bin, and Ubisoft will get itself another failure.
  • Time its release well! The original was critically acclaimed by critics and reviewers, but failed to gain traction among gamers. Why is that? I believe it's mostly because it was released at the same time as proven sequels, as well as Ubisoft's own Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Beyond Good & Evil is still a relatively unknown title. So Ubisoft, don't pit it against heavyweights, and please don't release it at the same time as another game of your AAA franchises. Treat that game as an AAA title itself!

This is the best gaming news I've heard in a long time, and something I've been waiting for for years. Now, let's just hope the game quickly goes into development, and that they don't mess it up! Ubisoft, this has the potential to be big. Don't miss that chance.